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Trump ‘didn’t know’ about his son’s meeting with Russian lawyer

Donald Trump Jr says he hadn't told his father about a pre-election meeting with a Russian lawyer who had promised damning evidence against Hillary Clinton

12 July 2017, 9:24am
The son of US President Donald Trump has said he did not tell his father about a meeting with a Russian lawyer who said she could help his election campaign.

Asked by Fox News' Sean Hannity if he had told his father about last year's meeting, Donald Trump Jr said: "No. It was just a nothing. There was nothing to tell.

"I mean, I wouldn't have even remembered it until you started scouring through this stuff. It was literally just a wasted 20 minutes, which was a shame."

Trump Jr has released emails showing he welcomed an offer to meet the lawyer, who was allegedly linked to the Kremlin and had material damaging to Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump Jr, his brother-in-law Jared Kushner and Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort met Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower in New York in June 2016.

Trump Jr received an email from an intermediary, British publicist Rob Goldstone, promising documents from Russia that would incriminate Hillary Clinton, who was at that time the Democratic rival to his father in the election campaign

One email from Goldstone said the information they had been promised was "obviously very high-level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr Trump".

The meeting took place, but Trump Jr told Fox News the woman provided them with nothing of use and it only lasted 20 minutes. He said he would have done things a little differently in retrospect, but he defended his actions.

"This is before the Russia mania, this is before they were building this up in the press. For me this was opposition research, they had something you know maybe concrete evidence to all the stories I'd been hearing about."

However, he said that the meeting with Veselnitskaya went nowhere, and it was apparent Hillary Clinton wasn't what the meeting was about.

However, he could not vouch for the information he was sent.

"Someone sent me an email. I can't help what someone sends me. I read it, I responded accordingly, and if there was something interesting there, I think that's pretty common."